Saul Perlmutter shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery that the universe was expanding at an accelerating rate. Perlmutter explains how supernovae and other astronomical artifacts are used to measure the expansion rate, and explains what physicists are learning about "dark energy" — the mysterious entity thought to be driving the acceleration.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm David Greene. Let's get an update now on one of this year's major policy debates. There is an immigration bill under consideration. The law, if passed, has the potential to be a major success story for President Obama and for the bipartisan group of lawmakers who drafted it. Opponents of the bill have major concerns about how it treats people who came to the U.S. illegally, and also about how much the law would cost.
Good morning. I'm David Greene. The Social Security Administration has put out its list of the most popular baby names from last year. Topping the list for girls: Sophia. For boys, it's Jacob. As for fast rising contenders, Aria is becoming popular for girls. It seems parents are inspired by "Game of Thrones." Boys names gaining popularity: Major, King and Messiah.
A few other names of interest: David is hanging on at number 19, and Steve, where is Steve? Oh, 762.
Police in Pinellas County, Florida pulled over Bryan Zuniga at a traffic stop. The man ran away but his already bad day got worse, because as he fled he was attacked by an alligator. Police later arrested him at the hospital where he was being treated for his wounds. You may have seen those TV commercials, on for years, where a dog urges you to take a bite out of crime. This is not precisely what the crime dog meant, but close enough.
The Internet has managed to disrupt many industries, from publishing to music. So why not lending?
Google is teaming up with the nation's largest peer-to-peer lender. The search and tech giant is investing $125 million in Lending Club, which gets borrowers and lenders together outside the conventional banking system. Google's move and the actions of other big players reflect a growing interest in peer-to-peer lending.
Students associated with the group Brown Divest Coal protested in front of the Brown University president's office during a rally May 3. The group is demanding that the university stop investing in certain oil and coal companies.
Credit Courtesy of Brown Divest Coal
Brown University senior Emily Kirkland (right) speaks with a student newspaper reporter. Kirkland, who studies environmental science, has been leading a divestment campaign at Brown and says she has seen how powerful such protests can be. "Our administration is taking us very seriously," she says.
At about 300 colleges across the country, young activists worried about climate change are borrowing a strategy that students successfully used in decades past. In the 1980s, students enraged about South Africa's racist Apartheid regime got their schools to drop stocks in companies that did business with that government. In the 1990s, students pressured their schools to divest Big Tobacco.
This time, the student activists are targeting a mainstay of the economy: large oil and coal companies.
This is the second installment of NPR's Cook Your Cupboard, a food series about improvising with what you have on hand. Got a food that has you stumped? Submit a photo and we'll ask chefs about our favorites!
Laurel Ruma, an NPR listener from Medford, Mass., didn't realize quite how much she had gathered up from her travels until renovating her kitchen last summer. She unearthed things like harissa, chickpea flour and black chia seeds.